Multi-sensory or Snoezelen rooms are found in school and outpatient facilities. The rooms are set up to affect the sensory system either to alert or calm. The visual system may enjoy rhythmically moving subtle lights or bright flashing lights. The auditory system may enjoy loud rhythmic beats or soft classical sounds. The sense of smell is alerted or calmed with aromas diffused through a mister. The tactile or touch system might enjoy soft textures or rough, bumpy textures. The vestibular system may enjoy rocking or rhythmically swaying. The combination of stimuli is fun to explore with your sensory seeker or avoider.
Can be used with all ages to provide a relaxed environment.
Can be individualized to each child depending on the child’s sensitivities to lighting, tactile input, sound levels, and smells. When children have difficulty responding to and organizing sensory stimuli, it may feel overwhelming, so allow the child to pick the sensory options.
When calm and organized, a person can interact and communicate more efficiently and this can alleviate frustration
Found in a multi-sensory room can be all or some of the following:
Assorted aromas (smell)
Soft or bright lights (visual)
Calming or loud rhythmic sounds (auditory)
Suspended equipment (vestibular)
Textured walls (tactile)
Body soxs and more! (proprioceptive)
This sensory environment can be recreated in your own home. Below is a list of inexpensive items available online or in your local store. Have fun experimenting, mixing and matching, and promoting a peaceful environment. (The Sunshine Center does not endorse any of the products listed below. The list below is provided to give you some examples on how to recreate this type of environment in your home)
1. Starry Night Rotating Projector : This provides visual stimuli that rotates and projects onto the ceiling of the room and has four color options. This product can be found at Amazon for $18.99.
2. Aromatherapy Diffuser: This provides the room with different smells that can provide stimulation or relaxation. This product can be found at Amazon for $15.95.
3. Aromatherapy Oils: Here is a starter pack of 6 different scents that can be used in the diffuser. This pack can be found at Amazon for $11.95.
4. Music: Calming music can be found on YouTube, free of charge, here.
5. Bean Bag Chair: A soft texture for your child to sit and relax in. This chair can be found at Amazon for $15.00.
6. Crash Mats: This mat can be used to ensure that your child can move around throughout the room without getting hurt. This can be found at Amazon for $59.99.
7. Body Sox: This Body Sox can be used for tactile stimulation and can increase body awareness. This can be found at Special Supplies in a variety of colors and sizes for $18.99.
9. Snuggle Swing: This swing provides vestibular and proprioceptive input. This swing and accessories to hang it up can be found at Amazon for $64.95.
10. Sensory Tunnel: This tunnel provides tactile input and can be found at Amazon for $49.99.
11. Tactile Wall: Build you own tactile wall by adding pompoms, slinky, small mirrors, pipe cleaners, brush bristles, small fuzzy balls, buttons, Astroturf, bean bags, hard pasta, crinkled up foil, sand paper, sponges, coins, Velcro, cotton balls, and a squishy ball to a large piece of wood that can be hung onto the wall. This large piece of wood can be found at the home depot for $23.05. All other materials can be found at Walmart. For inspiration for your tactile wall, click here.
12. Hammock: This hammock can be found at amazon for $36.54. The supplies to hang this hammock in a corner of a room can also be found at Amazon for $7.99.
13. Swivel chair: This swivel chair can provide vestibular input and can also provide relaxation by pulling down the hood. It can be found at IKEA for $69.99.
14. Tactile box: Create your own tactile box by cutting an arm hole in the middle of the box and filling it with feathers, beans, beads, pompoms, hard pasta, cotton balls, marbles, easter eggs, and buttons. These items can be found at A.C. Moore.
Written by Anna Gersie, OTS in collaboration with fieldwork supervisor Gail Spina, OTR/L Sunny Days Sunshine Center